complete misunderstanding

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complete misunderstanding

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 18, 2016 12:30 pm

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Last edited by Anonymous User on Mon Jul 18, 2016 1:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

SFSpartan

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Re: complete misunderstanding

Postby SFSpartan » Mon Jul 18, 2016 12:36 pm

Based on the tone this was typed with, I'm guessing you are having a major freakout over this. I got nervous just reading it.

I don't think this is a major issue if your other work product has been good. Better to catch things like this before turning in unhelpful or inaccurate work product. Just make sure the final product is good.

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Re: complete misunderstanding

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 18, 2016 12:36 pm

Also, OP here, should I still bill all the hours I spent before I actually understood what's going on? I realize the partner will probably just scratch them out anyway, but I don't even know if I should input them.

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Lacepiece23

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Re: complete misunderstanding

Postby Lacepiece23 » Mon Jul 18, 2016 12:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Also, OP here, should I still bill all the hours I spent before I actually understood what's going on? I realize the partner will probably just scratch them out anyway, but I don't even know if I should input them.


That's a judgment call. When I f up, I usually don't bill the hours I took to fix the mistake. I usually bill those hours to PD or something else. Sometimes, when the f up isn't my fault, I bill all of the hours. Some people are in the camp of bill everything no matter what. I get that, but writing down hours requires extra effort on the part of the partner, and I'd rather preserve the relationship than to overbill when I know the partner will have to cut.

Also, at my firm, when partner's cut it hurts their stats. So there is that.

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Re: complete misunderstanding

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 18, 2016 3:11 pm

I dunno what the original issue was, but I echo the sentiment that when it's your fault, don't bill the time it takes to correct serious mistakes on your part. If it's not your fault/if the time to correct isn't substantial, I would bill it.

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thesealocust

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Re: complete misunderstanding

Postby thesealocust » Mon Jul 18, 2016 3:55 pm

Bill all of the time you actually spend working on something, even if it's time spent correcting a mistake you made. If you feel the matter took an unreasonable amount of time, you can notify the partner and let them choose what to do about writing it down, but you shouldn't self-write-down for a bunch of reasons:

1. The time you bill will be used by others at the firm to see how busy you are. If you're writing down time, you may appear to be able to take on work that you actually can't.
2. Relationships with clients are complex. Not all clients pay or even see all bills, not all work done gets billed in a clean hourly way, etc.
3. In the eyes of a partner, writing down your hours could be the same as stealing from them and the firm. They own the business and surely want it to make as much money as possible. Just because you feel inefficient doesn't mean it won't be a reasonable amount of money to bill for the services - and it shouldn't be your judgement call.

Your job as an associate is to do good work and record the time you spend doing that good work. Leave the billing and collecting to the partners.

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quiver

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Re: complete misunderstanding

Postby quiver » Mon Jul 18, 2016 4:18 pm

thesealocust wrote:Bill all of the time you actually spend working on something, even if it's time spent correcting a mistake you made. If you feel the matter took an unreasonable amount of time, you can notify the partner and let them choose what to do about writing it down, but you shouldn't self-write-down for a bunch of reasons:

1. The time you bill will be used by others at the firm to see how busy you are. If you're writing down time, you may appear to be able to take on work that you actually can't.
2. Relationships with clients are complex. Not all clients pay or even see all bills, not all work done gets billed in a clean hourly way, etc.
3. In the eyes of a partner, writing down your hours could be the same as stealing from them and the firm. They own the business and surely want it to make as much money as possible. Just because you feel inefficient doesn't mean it won't be a reasonable amount of money to bill for the services - and it shouldn't be your judgement call.

Your job as an associate is to do good work and record the time you spend doing that good work. Leave the billing and collecting to the partners.
100% agree. And I have been told exactly this by at least 2 biglaw partners.

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Re: complete misunderstanding

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 18, 2016 4:20 pm

thesealocust wrote:Bill all of the time you actually spend working on something, even if it's time spent correcting a mistake you made. If you feel the matter took an unreasonable amount of time, you can notify the partner and let them choose what to do about writing it down, but you shouldn't self-write-down for a bunch of reasons:

1. The time you bill will be used by others at the firm to see how busy you are. If you're writing down time, you may appear to be able to take on work that you actually can't.
2. Relationships with clients are complex. Not all clients pay or even see all bills, not all work done gets billed in a clean hourly way, etc.
3. In the eyes of a partner, writing down your hours could be the same as stealing from them and the firm. They own the business and surely want it to make as much money as possible. Just because you feel inefficient doesn't mean it won't be a reasonable amount of money to bill for the services - and it shouldn't be your judgement call.

Your job as an associate is to do good work and record the time you spend doing that good work. Leave the billing and collecting to the partners.



OP here, I know I deleted the original post, but just for reference originally I spent about 8 hours on the project while working off of a misunderstanding about the issue the partner was looking for. I just finished research/memo on the actual issue he was looking for and it only took me 2 hours. Does what make a different in whether or not I should scratch it out?

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thesealocust

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Re: complete misunderstanding

Postby thesealocust » Mon Jul 18, 2016 4:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
thesealocust wrote:Bill all of the time you actually spend working on something, even if it's time spent correcting a mistake you made. If you feel the matter took an unreasonable amount of time, you can notify the partner and let them choose what to do about writing it down, but you shouldn't self-write-down for a bunch of reasons:

1. The time you bill will be used by others at the firm to see how busy you are. If you're writing down time, you may appear to be able to take on work that you actually can't.
2. Relationships with clients are complex. Not all clients pay or even see all bills, not all work done gets billed in a clean hourly way, etc.
3. In the eyes of a partner, writing down your hours could be the same as stealing from them and the firm. They own the business and surely want it to make as much money as possible. Just because you feel inefficient doesn't mean it won't be a reasonable amount of money to bill for the services - and it shouldn't be your judgement call.

Your job as an associate is to do good work and record the time you spend doing that good work. Leave the billing and collecting to the partners.


No. But feel free to write a note to the partner that while you billed 10 hours, you were on the wrong trail for 8 of them.

Especially if you're a young lawyer, it's built into the fact that your rate is lower. The process of practicing law is messy, tasks take the amount of time they take, not the amount of time they could take under ideal circumstances. There are a million issues at play here, and recording 2 hours into the system for a matter that occupied you for 10 is rarely the best decision.


OP here, I know I deleted the original post, but just for reference originally I spent about 8 hours on the project while working off of a misunderstanding about the issue the partner was looking for. I just finished research/memo on the actual issue he was looking for and it only took me 2 hours. Does what make a different in whether or not I should scratch it out?

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Re: complete misunderstanding

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 18, 2016 4:31 pm

thesealocust wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
thesealocust wrote:Bill all of the time you actually spend working on something, even if it's time spent correcting a mistake you made. If you feel the matter took an unreasonable amount of time, you can notify the partner and let them choose what to do about writing it down, but you shouldn't self-write-down for a bunch of reasons:

1. The time you bill will be used by others at the firm to see how busy you are. If you're writing down time, you may appear to be able to take on work that you actually can't.
2. Relationships with clients are complex. Not all clients pay or even see all bills, not all work done gets billed in a clean hourly way, etc.
3. In the eyes of a partner, writing down your hours could be the same as stealing from them and the firm. They own the business and surely want it to make as much money as possible. Just because you feel inefficient doesn't mean it won't be a reasonable amount of money to bill for the services - and it shouldn't be your judgement call.

Your job as an associate is to do good work and record the time you spend doing that good work. Leave the billing and collecting to the partners.


No. But feel free to write a note to the partner that while you billed 10 hours, you were on the wrong trail for 8 of them.

Especially if you're a young lawyer, it's built into the fact that your rate is lower. The process of practicing law is messy, tasks take the amount of time they take, not the amount of time they could take under ideal circumstances. There are a million issues at play here, and recording 2 hours into the system for a matter that occupied you for 10 is rarely the best decision.


OP here, I know I deleted the original post, but just for reference originally I spent about 8 hours on the project while working off of a misunderstanding about the issue the partner was looking for. I just finished research/memo on the actual issue he was looking for and it only took me 2 hours. Does what make a different in whether or not I should scratch it out?



Makes sense, thanks for the advice!



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